Peter Layton


This exhibit is concerned with the life stories and memories of Peter Layton. In these stories, Peter remembers his childhood and early life in Germany in the 1930's. He describes how his family were torn apart duing the second world war and placed in German concentration camps. He shares his memories of his escape to England and later Australia as a refugee. Subsequently, Peter joined he British army and served in India before marrying and settling down with his wife and family in the Isle of Man and, later, Northern Ireland.


McTiernan, K. & O'Donnell, D. (2012) Life Histories Archive,


Childhood and Early Life

In this section of the exhibit Peter describes his early years in Germany. He relates the horrific events of the 1930's and 40's that led to the forced separation of his family and their placement in concentration camps. He recounts his subsequent escape to an English concentration camp for refugees. He shares his memories of these experiences as well as his internment in another refugee camp in Australia.

Work and Employment

In this section of the exhibit, Peter describes his time in Scotland, training at a wollen and worsted manufacturing company. He also remembers the start of his career in the weaving industry in the Isle of Man where he worked as a weaving manager. He subsequently moved to Belfast were he worked as a trainer.

Marriage and Family

In this section of the exhibit Peter describes his married life in the Isle of Man and afterwards Northern Ireland and the arrival of his six children. He shares details of his family tree and his relatives in Australia.


This section of the exhibit is concerned with the stories, images and documents which describe Peter's retirement years. Peter reflects upon the things that give him pleasure in his retirment years, most particularly he describes his relationship with his children and grandchildren as being very important to him. Furthermore, he notes how he has used his retirement time to travel and visit family in Australia and the UK.


In this section of the exhibit Peter reflects on his life values, in particular his views on the use of violence and his decision to become a Quaker.